The Sublime Magic of Frozen Soap Bubbles

Frozen soap bubbles.

If you thought blowing bubbles was reserved for warm summer days or children's birthday parties, you'd be wrong! The coolest time to play and experiment with these liquid globules is when the air is below 5 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 15 degrees Celsius). It's at this temperature that soap bubbles begin to freeze and form intricate crystalline structures on their surface.

The frosty soap bubbles in the video above were captured by Warsaw-based photographer Pawel Zaluska, who was inspired to create the video one chilly day when he was bundling up his daughter to go out. After she began fussing about not wanting to put her jacket on, he explained that she needed it because it was so cold outside, to which she responded, "How cold?"

Zaluska writes, "I had to figure out an interesting answer [that] would satisfy a preschooler’s curiosity, so I told her: 'It is so cold that even soap bubbles freeze and it looks really beautiful.' I saw a sparkle in her eye, so I promised to make a film to show her that. She was so excited about this idea that [..] she forgot that she didn’t want to put her jacket on."

Of course, the task of capturing these bubbles is easier said than done. Not only was it an extremely cold photoshoot, but it was also a challenge to blow bubbles that wouldn't immediately pop — only about 5% to 10% of the bubbles managed to stay intact long enough to attach to the surface and freeze (about 30 seconds).

Zaluska isn't the first photographer to focus his lens on these icy bubbles. Continue below to see images of this sublime phenomenon captured by other photographers.

The colors and crystals of a frozen bubble on a wand. (Photo: m. uptegrove/Shutterstock)
Star-like ice crystal formations on a frozen soap bubble. (Photo: Paul VanDerWerf/Flickr)
Frosty soap bubbles in snow. (Photo: Peter Von Bagh/Flickr)
Frozen soap bubble in glowing sunlight. (Photo: Lars Kastilan/Shutterstock)
Crystal formation on frozen soap bubble. (Photo: Paul VanDerWerf/Flickr)
Frozen soap bubble surrounded by glittery ice. (Photo: Paul VanDerWerf/Flickr)
Feather-like frozen soap bubble. (Photo: Paul VanDerWerf/Flickr)